Friday, August 7, 2009

Happy bittersweet 5th, baby

A very dear girlfriend celebrated quietly today. Her little girl, T, would have been five.

I woke this morning and remembered straight away. Wrapped in the arms of the still-warm and sleepy LGBB (she cuddled me to her bosom today - she seems to do that at times when I need to stop and remember to receive love and touch), I thought of my friend. Of her husband and their daughter. The LGBB adores their son, K, who was born about two months before her. My friend and I shared a miscarriage experience on the long haul back to motherhood during 2004-2005 (well.... I had three and she two, but the point is not the numbers so much as the yearning and determined drive, all with the added realisation of how very, very much there was to lose now). When I shouldered the news that she was expecting (twins!), I again had to bow my head and plough just a bit deeper to find solid ground within. That slippery slope of dutifully "happy for you" friend and supporter, when I would go home and be upset to the point of vomiting, if not tears, to realise I was being left behind. Left, right and now centre.

I didn't have to wait long. I helped get her through the terrifying ordeal of losing one of the babies in the middle of the first trimester. I discovered the following week that I was pregnant again as well. K stayed. He stayed strong and steady right to the end. Just like our LGBB did. And now they play together as three year-olds. It makes my breath catch in my throat to recall how we used to chat on the phone and barely dare to breathe some days at our "good fortune".

So this morning, I told Lolly that it was "T's birthday today."

"I want to go to her party!" she exclaimed excitedly, before I could explain who T even was. She beamed her bright grin as she looked at me hopefully.

"Well," I said in a matter of fact tone, "T is K's sister. And she's not here, just like Ella is your sister and she's not here."

She turned her little face to me, now dropped in the saddest worried expression. "Oh no," she breathed, "Poor K!" The compassion in this kid astounds me. She leaves some adults to shame, already.

And more than this, I was hit in the stomach with the realisation that she gets it. We don't discuss Ella very often. Occasionally, she will tell me that they play. She grins if I ask if Ella chats to her. I don't push, it is their private sister business. But this.... this was validation on some maternal level for me, that my daughter misses her sister. So much that she can instantly place her three year-old self in her little friend's shoes and gather that he, too, must feel the sorrow of the empty gap where his sister might have been, had she lived longer than a mere seven days.

Happpy birthday, sweet T.

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